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'A beautiful fall' is on tap Summer in WNY had good days and bad days

Summer 2009, which ends this afternoon, was in the eye of the beach chair holder.

If you took your staycation in July, or if you tried to go to Thursday at the Square or Shakespeare in Delaware Park, this summer could be as miserable as Leodis McKelvin's fumble.

But if you took a week off in September, or if you went to the National Buffalo Wing Festival or the Bills home opener, it was as pretty as a Trent Edwards touchdown toss to Terrell Owens.

"We had our challenges this summer, but we've moved into a beautiful fall," said Michael T. Schmand, executive director of Buffalo Place, which puts on events ranging from Thursday at the Square concerts to outdoor waterfront yoga.

Fall begins at 5:19 p.m. today, bringing to an end a summer that didn't really get started until about the time children were preparing to go back to school.

The average temperatures in June and -- especially -- July were below average, while the average temperatures for August and September have been warmer than usual, according to David Thomas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

"Summer got off to a slow start, but by August we got the return of above-average temperatures," he said.

The Weather Service counts summer for record-keeping purposes as running from June 1 to Aug. 31, Thomas said.

This summer was the 11th rainiest summer since record-keeping started in 1873, with 12.6 inches of rain falling during that period.

For Schmand, it only seems all of that rain fell on Thursdays.

Buffalo Place had to take the rare step of canceling two Square concerts, and had cool and rainy conditions for several others.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park and the Buffalo Bisons, among other weather-dependent organizations, lost a number of days to rain or the threat of rain.

June's mean temperature of 64.5 degrees was 1.3 degrees below normal, while July's mean temperature of 66.9 degrees was a whopping 3.9 degrees below normal, according to Weather Service records.

For September so far, the mean temperature of 63.2 is right on the historical average for this month, but the average high temperature of 73.6 has been 1.8 degrees above normal.

September also has been exceptionally dry, with no measurable precipitation at the weather station in Cheektowaga for 22 days in a row before Monday's downpour.

This has helped the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor concerts, the wing festival and anyone who went to Sunday's Bills home opener, when the temperature hit a tailgating-friendly high of 77 degrees.

Schmand said he's hoping for good fall weather.

e-mail: swatson@buffnews.com

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